Metacognition in its simplest terms means thinking about your thinking. For example, a student might ask and answer his or her own questions, review or think through an idea, and/or process and evaluate new information. When we reflect on what we know and don't understand, the mind begins searching and exploring, uncovering and identifying information in order to clarify and comprehend ideas.


Sample Metacognitive Questions

  • What do I already know?
  • How is this idea connected to that one?
  • What steps should I follow to solve this problem?
  • What is the author trying to get me to think about here?
  • How might I reread this text?
  • What argument is the visual making?
  • How should I read this graph/chart/diagram? What is it telling me?
  • What questions should I ask tomorrow in class to help me better understand this unit?

Metacognition plays a key role in developing students' critical thinking skills. Consider using the following strategies to help advance students' metacognitive skills.

Related Articles

Donna Wilson, Ph. D. 2014, October, 7. "Metacognition: The Gift that Keeps Giving" Edutopia. Retrieved from

Literacy Standards In Action

We've mapped our literacy lessons and reading, speaking, and writing skills to state standards, Common Core, and NGSS. The standards are "the what" to teach. Our lessons are "the how" to meet the expectations defined by the standards. Click on the links below to view our quick reference table that maps standards to literacy lessons.

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